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Jenifer Brown Quoted in <i>Indiana Lawyer</i>: "Lapse in Government Funding Worsens Immigration Back Jenifer Brown Quoted in <i>Indiana Lawyer</i>: "Lapse in Government Funding Worsens Immigration Back

Jenifer Brown Quoted in Indiana Lawyer: "Lapse in Government Funding Worsens Immigration Backlog"

Jenifer BrownIce Miller LLP partner Jenifer Brown was quoted in the Indiana Lawyer article, "Lapse in Government Funding Worsens Immigration Backlog."

The article included:

There are four federal agencies whose funding can impact U.S. immigration: The Department of State, Department of Labor, Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security. The State Department is often the first face foreign nationals will see in America via embassies and consulates, Ice Miller immigration partner Jenifer Brown said, but the immigration portion of the agency’s operations is fee-funded and, thus, was not affected by the lapse in government funding.

But it would be “catastrophic” if the Department of Labor lost funding, Brown said, because that department is often the first stop for immigrants seeking permanent and temporary visas. However, the agency was spared by a “minibus” spending bill passed in September that funds DOL from September 2018 to 2019.

The issue, then, is DHS, which is home to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. CBP agents are the ones working on the front lines of the border, while ICE handles immigration enforcement and USCIS handles the benefits side of immigration.

Like the State Department, USCIS is fee-funded, meaning many of its operations could continue throughout the shutdown, Brown said. But CBP and ICE each experienced a lapse in funding, which forced many employees deemed essential to work without pay.

For CBP, that led to call-offs from employees, causing longer lines for entry and re-entry into the country, Brown said. ICE is also understaffed, Brown said, though she noted that issue existed before funding stopped.

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